I am especially interested in the optimized support structure (slide 3) which shows a dramatically reduced amount of support structure material being used. This is can be very significant for certain applications. Not only will this save money (less material used), but will also allow for a much faster cleanup of parts (saves time). In addition to this, certain designs have very delicate features. By creating a minum amount of material to remove on these delicate features, part breakage and damage can also be reduced.
Although I listed it last, the ASTM standards effort to determine the mechanical properties of materials made with AM processes just might end up being the most important of these. There's continuing debate in the industry about the strength and durability of materials made by layering, and a metric for discussing and assessing them is a good start.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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